CNN Money reports that shares of Weight Watchers (WTW) dipped 30% on Friday after the lifestyle brand announced a quarterly loss of $11 million. Winfrey’s stake fell by $27 million on Friday as a side effect.
Winfrey signed on to play a big part in Weight Watchers’ public image last October when she acquired a 10% stake in the company, joined its board and became a member herself.
WTW stock is currently trading almost 60% below the peak it hit in November as a result of Winfrey’s endorsement. The stock is down 50% for the year, with membership and meeting attendance slipping as well.
Winfrey is believed to have accumulated a profit of close to $30 million since joining up in October. The significant drop has led some to call into question Winfrey’s ability to sway public opinion the way she once could. Early ratings for Winfrey’s faith-oriented series “Belief” also led to speculation on the dwindling Oprah brand when the show debuted in October.
Variety TV critic Brian Lowry wrote, “Clearly, Winfrey’s intention to transform the network that bears her name into ‘the world’s biggest classroom,’ as she once called it, proved more ambitious than was commercially feasible.”